April 10, 2010 – Marcus and Monica Gilbert
Real Salt Lake and American Express are proud to honor Marcus and Monica Gilbert of Roy, Utah, as the first recipients of the “Heroes Among Us” award during the 2010 RSL season.
Monica saw first-hand what giving the gift of life could mean, as her husband, Marcus, a manager at a Utah County restaurant, came to the aid of a 17-year-old employee who was in need of a kidney transplant a year-and-a-half ago. Marcus offered to donate a kidney to young Juan Delgado after the teenager suffered kidney failure, and since undergoing the successful operation he has encouraged those that can donate to do so – words that his wife would soon take to heart.
After much consideration, Monica decided to follow her husband’s lead and donate a kidney herself, despite not knowing who the recipient would be. While Monica had planned on donating anonymously, the fortunate recipient, Pepe Sione, had requested to meet with the donor, and the two linked up in February on the day before she was scheduled to undergo the surgery.
After Monica’s operation and Pepe's successful transplant, the three families have formed an unbreakable bond and will have more memories to share for years to come thanks to two marvelous acts of unselfishness. They are wonderful examples of people in our community that continue to make it a better place through putting others first, and RSL and American Express are pleased to honor the Gilberts as the first of several “Heroes Among Us” this season.
Garth Lagerwey, Marcus and Monica Gilbert, and Tammy Weinbaum